Upon his way to rob a Bank
He paused to watch a fire;
Though crowds were pressing rank on rank
He pushed a passage nigher;
Then sudden heard, piercing and wild,
The screaming of a child.
A Public Enemy was he,
A hater of the law;
He looked around for bravery
But only fear he saw;
Then to the craven crowds amaze
He plunged into the blaze.
How anguished was the waiting spell
Of horror and of pain!
Then—then from out that fiery hell
He staggered forth again:
The babe was safe, in blankets wrapt,
The man flame lapt.
His record was an evil one,
Of violence and sin.
No good on earth he’d ever done,
Yet—may he Heaven win!
A gangster he . . . Is it not odd?
—With guts of God.